Nepal savour historic momentNepal lost their historic One Day International (ODI) match by 55 runs against the hosts Netherlands in Amstelveen on Tuesday, but skipper Paras Khadka feels privileged to kick start a new chapter with the two-match limited over series.
Nepal lost their historic One Day International (ODI) match by 55 runs against the hosts Netherlands in Amstelveen on Tuesday, but skipper Paras Khadka feels privileged to kick start a new chapter with the two-match limited over series.
Chasing 190 runs for victory in their first match since gaining the ODI status in March, Nepal crumbled to 134 all out in 41.5 overs at the VRA grounds. The two sides renew their rivalry at the same venue on Friday.
Receiving his ODI cap from team coach Jagat Tamatta, Khadka said he had hardly imagined he would be leading an ODI team having taken over the captaincy from Binod Das in 2010. And the long-standing feud in the Cricket Association of Nepal (CAN) was only making the task more difficult.
A couple of hundreds of Nepali supporters, who turned out at the venue to watch Nepal’s historic match, gave a thundering round of applause as Tamatta presented the ODI caps to the cricketers. The Nepali fans remarkably outnumbered the local Dutch fans.
“It is a big day for us. Playing an ODI had always been a dream and it finally has come true,” said Shakti Gauchan, Nepali cricket team’s longest-serving member who is preparing to end his 18-year career having already announced the Netherlands tour as his last for the country.
For the Dutch supporters, the game might be of less significance having been at the stage several years earlier before losing the ODI status in 2014. They regained the status along with Nepal in March through the ICC World Cup Qualifiers. But for Nepal it was a moment to be cherished. The social networking sites were abuzz with congratulatory messages for Team Nepal. Finishing the match on a wining note would have been an icing on the cake, but playing the first game alone was a moment of immense pride.
Utsav Sigdel, a 28-year-old from Hetauda, who currently lives in Maryland, US, was among the Nepali fans to witness the historic moment in Nepali cricket. “I had decided to witness this moment ever since Nepal gained the ODI status in March,” said Sigdel, who works as a system administrator with IBM Linux in Baltimore. “Nothing can beat the satisfaction of being here today.”
Bertus de Jong, a Dutch cricket writer for cricbuzz.com, was expecting Nepalis to outnumber the Dutch crowd and he knew the reason. “I have been writing a lot about Associate cricket and most of the readers are Nepali supporters. The fan following is what puts Nepal apart from the rest of the Associate nations,” noted Bertus.